by Jessica Murray via According To Jess
Once again i find myself outraged but no more surprised at the carelessness of the human race causing the unnecessary end of a beautiful animal life.
I am of course talking about this week’s wildlife disaster that has set the internet on fire, and conservationists and animal lovers worldwide into turmoil, about the carelessness of the parents of the child who climbed into a gorilla’s enclosure for a reason unbeknownst to me.
For those who haven’t yet heard the story…officials from Cincinnati zoo shot and killed an endangered lowland gorilla named Harambe after a 3-year-old boy climbed into his enclosure, but not before telling his Mother: ‘Mummy, I want to swim with the gorilla.’
As you watch the video footage (below) you can notice the behaviour of Harambe…his stance is in front of the boy, protecting him, he holds his hand, he never lets his head go under the water, he only drags him after looking around at the crowd as they are screaming and shouting towards him which, to be honest, would distress and confuse anyone.
Some people claim that they should have tranquilised Harambe instead of shooting him, but perhaps this would have taken too long, have angered or confused him even more and he could even have fallen onto the child.
But then you have to ask yourself, too late for what? Harambe did not show any aggressive behaviour and in fact dragged the child without malicious intention as he would his own offspring. Gorillas generally won’t show aggression unless threatened, which he wasn’t by the small boy in his space.
It must have been a very hard decision for the zookeepers to make, and in today’s society where everyone is on hand with instant filming equipment, there will be a backlash whatever they had decided. The real issue here, as always, is man’s fault.
It is man who puts walls around these should-be wild animals for their own enjoyment and profitability, and yet it is man who is careless enough to put themselves in a position where those same animals that we claim we are ‘protecting’ are killed. What makes man think that he has the right to dictate another soul’s life in such a way that you can end that life.
Now I don’t claim to know a lot about gorillas as I have not had the privilege of spending any real time with them in my life yet. But what I do know is that a pattern is repeating itself in the way of these situations arising where people who do not understand our beautiful creatures get involved where they shouldn’t, and the animal is the only one who loses his life for simply being who he is, instead of trying to be someone that he is not.
This post is not about shaming the parents of the boy, or the zookeepers who killed Harambe, this post is about questioning whether placing endangered species in a cage is truly preserving the species and educating the public as people seem so quick to convince themselves that it is.
About The Author
Jess Murray is a wildlife filmmaker and conservation blogger, having recently returned from studying wildlife and conservation in South Africa, she is now striving to spread awareness about the truth behind faux conservation facilities throughout the world. You can follow Jess on Facebook Here